The move allowed Kidzu to triple their size, add new exhibits and create a partner program with Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, said Kidzu executive director Pam Wall.
A climbing wall, theater and space for birthday parties are all new additions to Kidzu.
Wall said the expansion allowed summer programs and field trips to be offered as well.
“We’re 8,500 feet of awesome,” said Lisa Van Deman, the Kidzu director of education.
The theater exhibit, where kids can create their own set and manipulate stage lighting, is a salute to UNC’s Forest Theatre.
Van Deman said a former Ralph Lauren designer created all the children’s costumes for the area.
Kidzu also started the “To Market To Market” program with Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, which is also located in University Mall. The program allows kids to tour the market and learn more about healthy eating.
Ali Rudel, manager of the farmers market, said Kidzu approached them about the collaboration. She said it was an obvious relationship to have because they have similar goals and values and that the market is committed to working with other community organizations.